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Political Accountability For Poverty, Meeting 16/7

16 July 2002

Press Release

Political Accountability For Poverty

“Politicians are forgetting the basic issues that are facing New Zealanders. The Wellington People’s Centre wants to place poverty on the election agenda!” says Centre Co-ordinator Lisa Matthews.

“To this end we have invited representatives from all the major parties to a public forum at the Centre to talk about poverty in New Zealand. Since the Centre was established in 1992 we have seen an increasing number of people living in poverty - a situation aggravated by government policy of the last decade, for example; the benefit cuts, poor housing policy, and casualisation of work.” she said.

“Even under a Labour/Alliance coalition for the last two and a half years we have not seen any real improvement. There is now greater reliance on foodbanks while at the same time people are being denied their legal entitlements due to systemic failures by Work & Income. Under MMP every vote can count and no party should take the votes of New Zealanders on low incomes for granted.”

“Our members and other community advocates we work with want to hear from political parties what they will actually DO if they form part of the next government. We expect discussion at the meeting on:
- the Social Security Amendment bill presently at the select committee stage;
- the administration of welfare benefits;
- affordable and appropriate medical and dental services;
- their long-term aims of social policy

This not-to-be missed forum will be held at the Wellington People’s Centre in Lukes Lane, off Taranaki St at 7.30 Wednesday 17 July 2002 – that’s only ten days out from election day! Doors will be open from 7pm. Its format will be short speeches from each invited politician followed by open discussion.


Lisa Matthews
Wellington People’s Centre
Ph 04 3858596
Fax 04 385 8520

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